My friend and colleague Leslie McLellan wrote this after last year’s SmallTown Event. Since this year’s event is just one week away, I thought you might like her perspective on how it can make you a bit more of a thought leader. And consider making the trip to Hutchinson to join us for SmallTown2012 next week. –Becky
By Leslie McLellan
If you’re an aspiring thought leader (as everyone should be) you need to have a world vision, and attendance at a 140 Characters Conference can provide you with a bit of that vision. While we all might like to think that we’re proficient in our own niches, that’s not the criteria that qualifies you as a thought leader.
|Leslie McLellan shares her small town tourism expertise
at the Small Town140 Characters Conference in 2011.
Having attended a 140 Characters Conference twice in the past few months I’ve decided that the subliminal message delivered at these very special events is – that while we might know a bit about our business or our cause, we don’t know much about the rest of the human race. Generally we spend time at conferences learning more about what we do, or delving into making us a better person, but by attending a 140 Characters Conference it becomes vastly and immediately apparent that each of us knows squat as you listen to the varied speakers covering issues that affect the human race.
I cheered as I heard one of my online friends share her adversities, how she conquered them and spoke about the value of an online education. I squirmed as I heard another one of my online friends discuss the horrendous life that she endured for so many years. I cried as a mother discussed her son’s illness and laughed out loud when another shared tourism marketing stories. From farmers to hip hop artists, from small towns to big cities, a 140 Characters Conference makes you think like you have never thought before. And that is a wonderful, magical thing.
The diversity, the stories, the world vision that is shared tilts your thought process. Perceptions are shattered as real stories are told. Social media has made the world smaller, but a 140 Characters Conference will make each of our individual worlds so much bigger. At the #140conf (the hashtag you should follow on Twitter) Small Town we were encouraged to “Take a Stand!” Take a stand for something…for anything. Just think what things would be like if more people simply did that.
|Tomi Ann Foust talks about
learning to connect online.
The hugs, the tears, the laughter, it’s all part of the experience. But it’s the thinking, the pondering, the new realizations that are the essence of this conference. It’s amazing what can be shared in 10 minutes and multiply that by 40 or 50 speakers and you have no choice but to open your head and your heart to the layers of humanity that you hear.
An aspiring thought leader must have a world vision and there’s no better place, no better way to start opening up to new ideas, widen your vision and connect with such a variety of people than at a 140 Characters Conference. It’s time to be alive and present in The State of Now and that is exactly what happens when you attend. And by the way, #Hutch (Hutchinson, Kansas where the #140conf Small Town was held) totally rocks!!
If you’re a small town person and you’re at least a little geeky and you’re within 1500 miles of Hutchinson, Kansas, you’ll get a lot out of the Small Town 2012 event. People from Alaska, Wyoming, Maine, Louisiana, California, 20 states in total, are coming from up to 1500 miles away.
I know that getting there may be a big expense. But each year, lots of people decide it’s worth it. I can offer you a $60 discount off your ticket to the event. The code is “friendofST12” and it brings the cost of a regular ticket down to $40. Students can register for just $14.
Take a look at the schedule for Small Town, and see if it doesn’t look well worth the investment to you. I’d love to meet you there — just one week from today!
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